Patents by Inventor Aaron Schmitz

Aaron Schmitz has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20180345137
    Abstract: A user-input device includes a user-actuatable trigger configured to pivot about a trigger axis, a rack gear interfacing with the user-actuatable trigger, a force-feedback motor including a drive gear interfacing with the rack gear, and a posture sensor configured to determine a posture of the user-actuatable trigger about the trigger axis. The force-feedback motor is configured to drive the rack gear based on a force-feedback signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 1, 2017
    Publication date: December 6, 2018
    Applicant: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Aaron SCHMITZ, Gabriel Michael Rask GASSOWAY, Jonathan Shea ROBINSON
  • Patent number: 10137364
    Abstract: A game controller includes an electronic input sensor and a button-retention feature. The button-retention feature is configured to removably affix a selected button accessory to the game controller through a magnetic attraction between the button-retention feature and the selected button accessory. The selected button accessory is one of a plurality of differently configured button accessories removably affixable to the game controller. The selected button accessory is configured to translate a touch applied to the selected button accessory to an actuation of the electronic input sensor when the selected button accessory is affixed to the game controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2018
    Assignee: MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC
    Inventor: Aaron Schmitz
  • Patent number: 10130874
    Abstract: A removable controller accessory for a game controller. The removable controller accessory includes a first side and a second side opposite the first side. The first side includes a finger interface sized and shaped for manual manipulation by a finger. The second side includes a mounting interface configured to selectively mate with an accessory-retention feature of a mounting platform of the game controller to removably affix the removable controller accessory to the mounting platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC
    Inventors: Aaron Schmitz, Kenneth Jasinski, Joshua Weiher
  • Patent number: 10124249
    Abstract: A game controller includes an electronic input sensor and a mounting platform. The mounting platform includes an accessory-retention feature and a sensor-activation feature. The accessory-retention feature is configured to removably affix a selected removable controller accessory to the mounting platform. The selected removable controller accessory is one of a plurality of differently configured removable controller accessories removably affixable to the mounting platform. The mounting platform is configured to move from a default posture to an activation posture responsive to finger manipulation of the selected removable controller accessory when the selected removable controller accessory is affixed to the mounting platform. The sensor-activation feature interfaces with the electronic input sensor to generate an activate control signal in the activation posture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC
    Inventors: Aaron Schmitz, Kenneth Jasinski, Joshua Weiher
  • Publication number: 20180200617
    Abstract: A thumbstick for a user input device comprises a tiltable post operable to output a control signal based on its position, with the post comprising external threads and a post anchor feature. An adjustable tensioning mechanism is configured to modify a tilt tension of the post. A cap comprises a cylindrical stem that defines a cavity. A base is moveable with the post and comprises a first cylindrical portion extending into the cavity, and a second cylindrical portion comprising internal threads and a base anchor feature. The internal threads mate with the external threads of the post to fasten the post to the base, and the base anchor feature abuts the post anchor feature to prevent displacement of the base toward the proximal end of the post.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 17, 2017
    Publication date: July 19, 2018
    Applicant: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Dustin John Tiffany, Benjamin Michael Finney, Aaron Schmitz
  • Publication number: 20180185750
    Abstract: A thumbstick for a user input device comprises an adjustable tensioning mechanism configured to modify a tilt tension of a tiltable post. The thumbstick comprises a cap with a stem that defines a first cavity. A base is moveable with the tiltable post and comprises a portion extending into the first cavity. The portion defines a second cavity and comprises a protuberance projecting into the second cavity. An adjustment body within the second cavity comprises a recessed slot and a contacting surface at a distal end. The slot is configured to engage the protuberance to adjust the tilt tension of the tiltable post.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 23, 2018
    Publication date: July 5, 2018
    Applicant: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Dustin Tiffany, Aaron Schmitz
  • Patent number: 9943757
    Abstract: A thumbstick for a user input device comprises an adjustable tensioning mechanism configured to modify a tilt tension of a tiltable post. The tiltable post is operable to output a control signal based on a position of the tiltable post relative to a default position. The thumbstick comprises a cap with a cylindrical stem that defines a cavity. An engagement body is located within the cavity and contacts an engagement surface of the adjustable tensioning mechanism. The engagement body includes a cam surface disposed around an axis of the tiltable post. An adjustment body within the cavity of the stem comprises a follower that contacts the cam surface. The follower is configured to traverse the cam surface when the cap is rotated to thereby translate the engagement body along the axis of the tiltable post and adjust the tilt tension of the tiltable post.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC
    Inventors: Dustin Tiffany, Aaron Schmitz, Benjamin Michael Finney
  • Patent number: 9931567
    Abstract: A thumbstick for a user input device comprises an adjustable tensioning mechanism configured to modify a tilt tension of a tiltable post. The thumbstick comprises a cap with a cylindrical stem that defines a first cavity. Abase is moveable with the tiltable post and comprises a cylindrical portion extending into the first cavity. The cylindrical portion defines a second cavity and comprises a protuberance projecting into the second cavity. An adjustment body within the second cavity comprises a recessed slot and a contacting surface at a distal end. The slot is configured to engage the protuberance to adjust the tilt tension of the tiltable post.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC
    Inventors: Dustin Tiffany, Aaron Schmitz
  • Patent number: 9925457
    Abstract: A user-replaceable thumbstick top for a user input device is described. The thumbstick top comprises one or more first mating elements that are adapted to mate with one or more second mating elements of a thumbstick base of the user input device. The first and second mating elements are configured to enable the thumbstick top to be removably connected to the thumbstick base. The manner of interconnection between the thumbstick top and the thumbstick base is such that a user can connect and disconnect the two components without having to disassemble the game controller and without having to use any tools.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Gabriel M. R. Gassoway, Jason V. Tsai, Kenneth D. Jasinski, Jonathan S. Robinson, Christopher H. Kujawski, Aaron Schmitz
  • Patent number: 9868058
    Abstract: Methods, systems, apparatuses, and computer program products are provided for a user input device, such as a game controller, that includes a thumbstick having adjustable tilt tension. The user input device includes a housing, a joystick assembly, a thumbstick cap, and an adjustment mechanism. The housing defines an internal cavity of the user input device and includes an aperture. The joystick assembly is disposed within the internal cavity. The joystick assembly comprises a tilt-able post and is operable to generate an analog input control signal based on a position of the tilt-able post in relation to a default position. The thumbstick cap is mounted through the aperture to an end of the tilt-able post. The adjustment mechanism is configured to enable a tilt tension of the tilt-able post to be changed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2018
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Gabriel Michael Rask Gassoway, Joshua P. Weiher, Eph John Evans, Benjamin Michael Finney, Jason Victor Tsai, Jonathan Shea Robinson, Aaron Schmitz, Dustin Tiffany
  • Publication number: 20170368452
    Abstract: A thumbstick for a user input device comprises an adjustable tensioning mechanism configured to modify a tilt tension of a tiltable post. The thumbstick comprises a cap with a cylindrical stem that defines a first cavity. Abase is moveable with the tiltable post and comprises a cylindrical portion extending into the first cavity. The cylindrical portion defines a second cavity and comprises a protuberance projecting into the second cavity. An adjustment body within the second cavity comprises a recessed slot and a contacting surface at a distal end. The slot is configured to engage the protuberance to adjust the tilt tension of the tiltable post.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 24, 2016
    Publication date: December 28, 2017
    Applicant: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Dustin Tiffany, Aaron Schmitz
  • Publication number: 20170368451
    Abstract: A thumbstick for a user input device comprises an adjustable tensioning mechanism configured to modify a tilt tension of a tiltable post. The tiltable post is operable to output a control signal based on a position of the tiltable post relative to a default position. The thumbstick comprises a cap with a cylindrical stem that defines a cavity. An engagement body is located within the cavity and contacts an engagement surface of the adjustable tensioning mechanism. The engagement body includes a cam surface disposed around an axis of the tiltable post. An adjustment body within the cavity of the stem comprises a follower that contacts the cam surface. The follower is configured to traverse the cam surface when the cap is rotated to thereby translate the engagement body along the axis of the tiltable post and adjust the tilt tension of the tiltable post.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 24, 2016
    Publication date: December 28, 2017
    Applicant: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Dustin Tiffany, Aaron Schmitz, Benjamin Michael Finney
  • Patent number: 9764230
    Abstract: A user input device is described that includes a thumbstick that comprises a thumbstick module and a thumbstick cap that is connected thereto. The thumbstick cap includes a thumbstick base that is mounted upon the thumbstick module and a thumbstick top that can be removably connected to the thumbstick base. The manner of interconnection between the thumbstick top and the thumbstick base is such that a user can connect and disconnect the two components without having to disassemble the game controller and without having to use any tools.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Gabriel M. R. Gassoway, Jason V. Tsai, Kenneth D. Jasinski, Jonathan S. Robinson, Christopher H. Kujawski, Aaron Schmitz
  • Publication number: 20170092446
    Abstract: Methods, systems, apparatuses, and computer program products are provided for a user input device, such as a game controller, that includes a finger-pressable (“tactile”) switch. The switch is adjustable to change the amount of force used to actuate the switch. In an example implementation, a tactile switch comprises a housing, a button interposer, a dome switch, and an adjustment mechanism. A user or other entity may press the button interposer. The dome switch is contained in the housing, and is actuated by the button interposer being pressed. The adjustment mechanism is contained at least partially in the housing, and is configured to enable an amount of force used to press the button interposer to actuate the dome switch to be adjusted.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2015
    Publication date: March 30, 2017
    Inventor: Aaron Schmitz
  • Publication number: 20170001106
    Abstract: Methods, systems, apparatuses, and computer program products are provided for a user input device, such as a game controller, that includes a thumbstick having adjustable tilt tension. The user input device includes a housing, a joystick assembly, a thumbstick cap, and an adjustment mechanism. The housing defines an internal cavity of the user input device and includes an aperture. The joystick assembly is disposed within the internal cavity. The joystick assembly comprises a tilt-able post and is operable to generate an analog input control signal based on a position of the tilt-able post in relation to a default position. The thumbstick cap is mounted through the aperture to an end of the tilt-able post. The adjustment mechanism is configured to enable a tilt tension of the tilt-able post to be changed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2015
    Publication date: January 5, 2017
    Inventors: Gabriel Michael Rask Gassoway, Joshua P. Weiher, Eph John Evans, Benjamin Michael Finney, Jason Victor Tsai, Jonathan Shea Robinson, Aaron Schmitz, Dustin Tiffany
  • Publication number: 20160361634
    Abstract: A user input device is described that includes a thumbstick that comprises a thumbstick module and a thumbstick cap that is connected thereto. The thumbstick cap includes a thumbstick base that is mounted upon the thumbstick module and a thumbstick top that can be removably connected to the thumbstick base. The manner of interconnection between the thumbstick top and the thumbstick base is such that a user can connect and disconnect the two components without having to disassemble the game controller and without having to use any tools.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2015
    Publication date: December 15, 2016
    Inventors: Gabriel M. R. Gassoway, Jason V. Tsai, Kenneth D. Jasinski, Jonathan S. Robinson, Christopher H. Kujawski, Aaron Schmitz
  • Publication number: 20160361639
    Abstract: A game controller includes a trigger-activation sensor, a sensor-activation feature, and a trigger-retention feature. The sensor-activation feature is moveable relative to the trigger-activation sensor. The trigger-activation sensor outputs a control signal based on a relative position of the sensor-activation feature and the trigger-activation sensor. The trigger-retention feature is configured to removably affix a selected removable trigger accessory to the game controller. The selected removable trigger accessory is one of a plurality of differently configured removable trigger accessories removably affixable to the game controller. The selected removable trigger accessory is configured to change the relative position of the sensor-activation feature and the trigger-activation sensor based on finger manipulation of the selected removable trigger accessory when the selected removable trigger accessory is removably affixed to the game controller.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 23, 2016
    Publication date: December 15, 2016
    Applicant: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Aaron Schmitz, Jonathan Shea Robinson, Gabriel Michael Rask Gassoway
  • Publication number: 20160361635
    Abstract: A game controller includes an electronic input sensor and a button-retention feature. The button-retention feature is configured to removably affix a selected button accessory to the game controller through a magnetic attraction between the button-retention feature and the selected button accessory. The selected button accessory is one of a plurality of differently configured button accessories removably affixable to the game controller. The selected button accessory is configured to translate a touch applied to the selected button accessory to an actuation of the electronic input sensor when the selected button accessory is affixed to the game controller.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2015
    Publication date: December 15, 2016
    Inventor: Aaron Schmitz
  • Publication number: 20160361636
    Abstract: A user-replaceable thumbstick top for a user input device is described. The thumbstick top comprises one or more first mating elements that are adapted to mate with one or more second mating elements of a thumbstick base of the user input device. The first and second mating elements are configured to enable the thumbstick top to be removably connected to the thumbstick base. The manner of interconnection between the thumbstick top and the thumbstick base is such that a user can connect and disconnect the two components without having to disassemble the game controller and without having to use any tools.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2015
    Publication date: December 15, 2016
    Inventors: Gabriel M. R. Gassoway, Jason V. Tsai, Kenneth D. Jasinski, Jonathan S. Robinson, Christopher H. Kujawski, Aaron Schmitz
  • Publication number: 20160346680
    Abstract: A user input device is described that includes a ring that is connected to a housing of the user input device and that surrounds an aperture included in the housing from which a user-manipulable portion of a thumbstick extends. The ring serves to prohibit contact between a portion of the thumbstick and an edge of the housing that surrounds the aperture. The ring may be formed from a material that has a relatively low coefficient of friction with a material from which the portion of the thumbstick is formed. In certain embodiments, the ring may be removably connected to the housing of the game controller such that a user can easily disconnect and reconnect the ring to the housing without damaging either the ring or the housing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 27, 2015
    Publication date: December 1, 2016
    Inventors: Jason V. Tsai, Aaron Schmitz, Benjamin M. Finney, Gabriel M. R. Gassoway